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International games, abusing our players, remembering Lansbury

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Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.  The most definitive book ever on the history of Arsenal’s early days and the move to Highbury.  Information here

How the modern Arsenal was born in 1910.  “Making the Arsenal”

We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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By Walter Broeckx

There has been so much to talk about following the Liverpool game that Untold didn’t get to do its usual round up of what happened to our players on international duty.  Perhaps because some of us are still floating on air because of the Tottenham game, some perhaps because for once nobody got injured.

But we should look back, even now with the Milan game about to happen.  A few of our on loan youngsters shined a bit. Henri Lansbury and The Ox (who is not on loan of course)  scored the last of the 4 goals for England against Belgium in the U21 game. One of the Lansbury goals went a bit around the world, or at least the Gooner world, with an effort from the side line that flew in the top corner. Still don’t know he intended it or not but what the hell, they all count.

The Oxlade-Chamberlain was a penalty. He lost the ball, like he did against Sunderland the other week, ran after the defender, took it back and then was brought down. He then stepped up and converted it himself. The best part of his performance came after the game. Because on twitter he told that he was happy with the win but not happy with his own performance. Loved it. Win 4-0 and not being happy with yourself. That is the way to improve. That shows that he is not that easily satisfied with himself. And this means that he has that drive to get better. I like him more and more and not just for his football skills. He seems just a very down to earth person and not that easily satisfied with himself.

Another on loan player that made a few headlines was Joel Campbell. The Costa Rican striker who is at Lorient in France for the moment scored the only goal against Wales. A nice finish from the youngster who has a rather amazing track record in international football. At youth level he had a record of almost one goal in each game. But with the first team of Costa Rica he has a record of 1 goal in 2 games. So not bad for a 19 year old. Not bad at all. The biggest regret I have is the fact that by not getting a permit last summer he cannot be developed at Arsenal for the moment. But with the current games he is playing for Costa Rica he surely should get a permit next time around.  Let Wenger get him in his hands for a few years and he could be the new Van Persie in a few years time.

There was a bit of a scare this week when Van Persie stopped a bit earlier in training but he said he was okay and he played on saturday (as you may recall).  For the first time in a long time Vermaelen played in the centre of the Belgium defence. Finally the Belgium manager is starting to see the light about Vermaelen.

The off the pitch moaning however has not stopped by some part of the fans. There just are some people out there who needs to moan about something. The newest fashion is to moan about the players wages. Yesterday they said we don’t spend the f*cking money and today they complain we spend too much f*cking money.

And the strange part is that they come up with saying player X is on 50K a week. But they don’t know if this really is true or not. Someone throws in a number and after repeating it a few times it becomes ‘fact’. But true or not, they just keep on repeating it and telling us what an idiot the manager is for paying that money for that player.

They have said this about Van Persie in the past years. But can you find anyone out there now who will admit they have said it about Van Persie? But I do remember when he signed his contract a few years ago and how people reacted on this and said: get rid of him. Always injured. Not world class.

Rosicky is also someone who made them angry when Wenger gave him a new contract. And they should have loved him in fact. Because Rosicky was what you could call an untypical Wenger signing. He was experienced. He was a well known player. He was a very well respected international player. Until his injury cost him almost 2,5 years of his career. But Wenger gave him a new contract and some people went mad. Always injured, get rid of him. Some blog even talked about the Rosicky list when talking about the injury list. And this season I think Rosicky is showing why Wenger trusted him. I think he is showing that he still is a very good player and with his experience can bring something extra to the team.

The last player on the favourite: “get rid of him-list” is Diaby. I know he is injured a lot. But can’t people see that he got his injuries because of playing for Arsenal? Time and time again he has been kicked to pieces without any protection from the refs. It started with his broken ankle in his first season. And from then on he has never completely recovered.  Last season against Bolton I even wrote an article about it. A terrible tackle from Robinson on his shin just not snapping his leg. You could see his leg bending. Just recovered we went to Chelsea and Dancing Dean just stood there as once again his ankle was targeted. No fouls being given but the damage was done once again. And when he then recovered we got that game at Newcastle where Dowd let go a terrible tackle from Barton on Diaby that was the start of the Newcastle come back.

Last season alone he could have had his leg and ankle broken 4 times. 4 times that I can remember from the back of my head. We can’t blame Diaby for being injured. We must blame the poor refs who let all those attacks take place unpunished. 4 times he barely survived those attacks and 4 times the refs did nothing.

The disgrace is not how much we pay Diaby for always being injured. The real disgrace is how many times the refs have let those bad tackles go that lead to Diaby being injured that much. But unfortunately for Diaby those bad tackles never got the exposure that the Ramsey and Eduardo tackles got. I think they did not even showed his broken leg on MOTD in those days. But because of the Ramsey and Eduardo leg breaking was live on TV it kept more hanging in our heads. Did anyone question Arsenal playing £50K (“fact”) to Ramsey or Eduardo? No because we know that they were victims of criminal attacks. So why do some moan about Diaby? I think Diaby is in the same category as Eduardo and Ramsey. The only difference was the media exposure on these incidents. And maybe the fact that despite his injury problems his bones didn’t break (apart from the first time) that easily.

The Diaby witch hunt from some part has always amazed me a bit. It has made me sad in fact. I’m sure that Diaby would have loved to stay fit. But I think he is the player that has had the most assaults to endure in the last 4 years of all the Arsenal players.

Is Diaby paid too much? I don’t know and in fact nobody knows. Should he be sold? I don’t know and nobody knows for now.

But what I do know is that Diaby is a great player when fit. I do know that he sustained most of his injuries from bad kicks and tackles in his Arsenal career without protection from the refs. And so I do know that he doesn’t deserve all this shit being thrown at him.

Van Persie came good (understatement of the year), Rosicky is coming good. Who knows maybe even Diaby can come good. And if he does it just like Van Persie shut them up, just as Rosicky is doing right now it will be great not just for him. But also for Arsenal. We can but hope that he will come good but please let us not abuse a player that has been kicked to pieces when playing and defending our colours.

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18 comments to International games, abusing our players, remembering Lansbury

  • surreygunner

    Lansbury, he done really well at Norwich and West Ham United.
    A brillant goal for England
    I like his grit, and determination and workrate.
    I am officially part of the Lansbury fan club, I know he is not Messi but he plays with pride oh please give him a run. Please Mr Wenger

    PS he could also be a backup goal keeper ie stand in goalkeeper for West Ham

  • James

    I agree with you 100% about Diaby. I believe he can eventually come through this injury nightmare and show his undoubted class on a consistent basis, and I hope he can do so in an Arsenal shirt. I wonder if there is anything to be said for sending him on loan to France for a season to give him a chance to recover his mojo without being kicked all over the place?

  • Mayur

    If I remember correctly Diaby was the best French player last world cup, not that the rest of the French team set the bar too high but nevertheless…

  • Mihir

    Great article Walter. I always felt that Lansbury has that never give up attitude that we sometimes need when we are down. At the moment, our first team is showing plenty of grit but it never hurts to have more players available with that drive
    Sorry to go a little off topic, but can one from your excellent team of contributors put together a fixture comparison. I believe that Arsenal’s run in seems to be pretty tough compared to Tottenham/Liverpool. I hope we can keep our team fit enough for the decisive end of the season.

  • Ruaridh

    I would agree with a James, once fully fit, a 3 month loan deal in the french league would allow Diaby to regain match fitness and confidence (in his physical condition) and therefore he would be in optimum shape to re-join the squad and re-enter the EPL.

  • Basil

    I really like Lansbury but Wenger has never kept a player who has been out on loan more than once.This is Lansbury’s 3rd loan spell (twice with Norwich,once with West ham)and i just wonder whether he fits in with our style of play.We will have to wait and see,but i feel he may be sold in the summer.(doesn’t look promising for Mannone either!)

  • insideright

    I don’t think that Diaby is mentally suited to being a defensive midfilder in the mould of Song. His excellent cameo against Liverpool was, I believe, down to the fact that he had Song covering for him and Risicky alongside him giving him the confidence to do what he does best which is to be the centre of ball circulation rather than being the ball winner.
    Injury-wise he has been really unlucky but I think Wenger will stay loyal (as he tends always to do) and that they will be rewarded.
    Lansbury might need the departure of Rosicky and Benayoun before he would be considered but that can’t be that far away. It might just depend on how patient he is but, don’t forget, he signed a new contract last year, so perhaps he is willing to be just that.

  • Messi's dad

    Hi Walter, I recall Hleb getting v. consistent bad tackles each season, and how “durable” he seemed at the time.

    I for one used to be frustrated at Diaby’s inconsistency on occasion, simply b’cos when he is great, he’s fantastic. I never really saw it from this perspective… now I can’t help but pity Diaby for his really terrible bad luck!

    Good to see that Diaby seems to have the support of the only one who matters – Wenger. What do I know anyway (I would’ve subbed Theo at half-time against the Tiny Totts!)…

  • Ruaridh

    in regards for tonight, I really beleive that arsenal should go for it but remain within the limits of not over-excerting any 1st team players as we do not have 3rd place sown up let alone our current 4th place standing, which I beleive is of paramount importance over tonights game. I would even put in one or two bench/reserve players in the team and a few more reserve players on the bench in anticipation of 1st team players tiring and then consequently subbing them for the reserve players-this as well as hopefully winning by at least one goal and retaining a bit of pride.

  • Ruaridh

    thoughts?…

  • Damien Luu

    The great part of the story is Wenger, as he said himself, will NEVER give up his trust in his players, as long as those players still have the spirit, the will to become fit and become better. Players like Eduardo, Rosicky, Ramsey, Van Persie and Diaby for now will never forget that faith he put in them, even when everybody else turn their heads away from them. The feeling of having to repay that faith, you could not BUY that by ANY amount of money.

    New players, especially younger ones, also know this and when they decide to come to Arsenal, they know that the manager will put his faith in them no matter what. He will protect them with all of his power. He will do whatever he can to help them to fulfill their best potential. He will not just buy them, get bored of them, and then get rid of them like many other managers. And that, to me, is worth more than ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY. Of course some like Na$ri don’t share this opinion.

    So the morons who are screaming, shouting, and moaning everyday to sack Arsene Wenger should know this: if he goes, 9/10 players who are interested in playing for Arsenal right now WILL NOT BE INTERESTED ANYMORE. But, well, you don’t expect those morons to suddenly have the ability of thinking, do you?

  • Yommex

    Impossible is nothing as it only exists in the minds of the lily-livered. Mankind would never have made this much stride if they had always considered things to be impossible. No harm in trying even if they do not meet up eventually. Worse off if at the end of the day it is seen that a little more effort would have yielded the desired dividend.

  • Goonerbeall

    Abu Diaby, a very unfortunate guy. He is been through hell and back due to injury andn then our own fans resort to question his ability suitability etc: disgraceful I think. Arsenal is the club where fans turn on their players. Imagine if Walcott was’nt in the team against Spuds? At 3-2 there was a risk that Spuds can equalise and do a comeback of their own like last year. Because Walcott was in the team he score 4-2 and further scored making it 5-2 which traumatised the Spuds. All this to everyone’s praises oblivious of what they were shouting in the first half. Leave team selection to Wenger mate.

  • Lee

    Don’t care bt mannone. Lansbury deseveres a run of games. We need someone like him in the team

  • madman

    I get your point About Abu Diabi is very talented player
    But I think most people who have issues with players like Abu in the squad are not angry at him but Wenger for mismanagement of the squad. AFC is football club, we had Abu since 2006 what most people forget is that before this infamous tackle he was still very unfortunate player in terms of injury. Even if he had the same talent as Mesi. How can you justify a player who will give 20 % a whole season and still
    have a vacant spot for him in already thin squad we have not for 1 year but for 4 years going. If he was injured playing for arsenal I believe AFC have paid him as per contract and we are not talking about pennies either. I would love to see him succeed at AFC but football clubs are runned on players who can knock out at least 40 games a season the same goes for rosicky would love to have him because he is still god BUT
    it is just not realistic in Football or in many real life situations in the working environment… Wenger sometimes runs AFC as his (property) not the company who employs him to manage or else how can such things take place?

  • Notoverthehill

    Walter, certain coached and certain players will target a player’s weak leg. Since the Dan Smith “assault”, Diaby has become a “mark” for certain managers and players to target. The target being the Diaby legs. A referee should acknowledge that Diaby will try to protect his legs from intimidation!

    The Webster “law” has resulted in The Arsenal offering good contracts to the First Team Squad. From the Ashley Cole saga we know that an offer of £60,000 per week then £55,000 per week, nearly caused Mr Cole to crash his car. We know from Mr Bendtner personally that he earns at least £50,000; if not £52,000 per week! With this information, we have a benchmark!

  • Basil

    Er Damien didn’t Wenger get rid of Eduardo,replacing him with Chamackh,because he was no longer able to cope with the physicality of the PL?He was only given one (injury hit) season after he recovered from his injury. Arsene will always give people a chance BUT his ultimate responsibility has always been to Arsenal football club,and when he no longer feels Diaby can do a job he will get rid.He can be quite pragmatic when he wants to be,the old prof ,you know!!!!!

  • Basil

    Sorry meant to say “after he recovered from his broken leg” Note to self “Do not apply for any more proof reading jobs,no wonder i never get them!”